village in Ortaca, Muğla Province, Turkey

This page describes Dalyan in Muğla Province of Turkey, not the city of Dalian in China.
For Dalyan village in the Troad Peninsula south of Çanakkale, see Geyikli.

Dalyan is a small resort town in Lycia on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. It's administratively part of Muğla province and in 2020 had a population of 5564. The main attraction is the ancient port of Kaunos, which silted up and lost its importance when a sandbar formed across the river estuary. This turned the navigable bay into a reedy wetland, and the site was abandoned in the 15th century AD.

Get in edit

Dalyan is 29 km west of Dalaman Airport. Most visitors arrive on package flights from Europe, and the coach transfer takes about 40 minutes.

Buses from Istanbul and Izmir towards Fethiye follow Highway D400 and stop in Ortaca village and Dalaman's edge of town bus station - from those take a bus or dolmuş into Dalyan. The Havaş bus from Dalaman Airport to Marmaris also stops there, but charges the full fare to Marmaris.

Muttaş[dead link] is the regional bus company, run by Muğla district council. Bus 8-8 runs every 15 min between Ortaca and Dalyan via Okçular, and Bus 8-9 is a less frequent service via Eskiköy.

Buses and dolmuşes stop along Atatürk Cd the main boulevard in Dalyan, there isn't a bus station.

Get around edit

1 Dalyan-Kaunos Feribot is the main access to the ancient city. It plies across the river on demand, and has space for cars (50 TL) but most visitors cross on foot (10 TL pp) then walk 500 m to the ruins. Two other ferries upstream land you much further from Kaunos.

Muttaş Bus 8-10 runs to Iztuzu beach but only twice a day, take a dolmuş or river boat.

See edit

  • 1 Tombs of the Kings (Kral Mezarları) are often the visitor's first sight of Kaunos, etched into the cliffs facing town across the river. The six tombs are from 4th to 2nd century BC. They're nominally open daily 09:00 till dusk; if the main access is closed you can view them from the modern cemetery.
  • 2 Acropolis or "Persikon" is on a 152 m rock. It was re-fortified in the Byzantine era against Arab attack but its ruins are scrappy, you ascend for the view. Heraklion is the smaller rock and fortification next to it, which once stood by the sea.
  • 3 Amphitheatre has a capacity of 5000 and still occasionally hosts performances.
  • 4 Sanctuary of Apollo is the most interesting of the six temples so far excavated, with a circle of columns. It's from 3rd century BC.
  • 5 Palaestra was the wrestling school and gymnasium. Baths were added in Roman times, then a basilica was built in the 5th century AD.
Tombs of the Kings
  • 6 Sülüklü Göl was the inner harbour, but has silted up to a muddy puddle - the modern name means "Lake of Leeches". The flat area between lake and Palaestra was the town market-place or agora, which continued so even after the harbour was no longer navigable and trade shifted to the outer port. It was embellished by bronze statues of Roman bigwigs, but only their pedestals remain, and the statues were melted down in the Byzantine era. There are also ruins of a stoa - a covered walkway - and a Nymphaeum, a monument dedicated to the water-nymphs. Nothing remains of the outer port.
  • City walls are best preserved at the west edge of the site. They were erected during the reign of Mausolos in the 4th century BC - this is the fellow who built himself a tomb so splendid at Halicarnassus (nowadays Bodrum) that it gave us the term "mausoleum".
  • 7 Dalyan estuary is the wetland delta south of town, an important habitat for birdlife.
  • 8 Iztuzu Beach is the 5 km sandbar that choked the estuary and put an end to Kaunos. It's the beach strip for Dalyan and river boats land near its west tip, while the east end by the turtle sanctuary is reached by road. Loggerhead Turtles (Caretta caretta) and green turtles (Chelonia mydas) lay their eggs here, and sections of beach are closed in the May-Oct nesting season.
  • 9 Turtle Sanctuary (Kaplumbağa Hastanesi). Daily 10:00-18:00. The sanctuary guards the nesting areas, nurses injured turtles, and monitors their populations.

Do edit

Kaunos Amphitheatre
  • Mud baths are west riverbank near the north ferry crossing, and in town at Peloi Hamam. The water is piped in, warm rather than hot, and they feel a bit tourist-trappy. Still you undeniably get muddy and smelly for your 50 TL, and your pants will never recover.
  • Boat trips go downstream through the delta and upstream to Köyceğiz Lake.

Buy edit

  • Lots of little stores in town centre, A101 is the main chain. They're open daily 09:00 to 22:00 or later.

Eat edit

  • A couple of dozen small restaurants in town centre, no stand-out, and no escape from trad Turkish cuisine.

Drink edit

  • Over a dozen bars along Maraş Cd in town centre.

Sleep edit

Releasing a rehabilitated turtle
  • 1 Dolunay Apart Hotel, Gülpınar Cd, 336th Sk 14/a, +90 532 273 4501. Simple modern apartments north side of town. B&B double 1000 TL.
  • 2 Keskin Hotel, 345th Sk, +90 252 284 3499. Friendly clean place, spacious rooms.
  • 3 Dalyan Yunus Hotel, Tufan Cd 109, +90 537 010 9137. Tranquil riverside hotel.
  • 4 Club Alla Turca, Yılmazer Cd 46, +90 252 284 4616. Pleasant efficient place mid-town. B&B double 2000 TL.
  • 5 Metin Hotel, Sulungur Cd, +90 252 284 2040. Clean friendly budget hotel. B&B double 1000 TL.
  • Gül Pansiyon, Caretta Sk (20 m north of Metin Hotel), +90 252 284 2467. Small but clean and tidy rooms, friendly owner.
  • 6 Dalyan Hotel Royal (Caria Hotel), Sulungur Cd, Özalp Sk, +90 539 576 3818, . Basic but clean rooms mid-town. B&B double 1000 TL.
  • 7 Noda Apartments, Tutarlar Cd., No.:63, . These beautiful rental holiday apartments are also available all year long. One sleeping room with a shower plus one living room with an open kitchen.
  • 8 Dalyan Resort Spa Hotel, 114th Sk 12, +90 252 284 5499. Charming resort hotel on a bend in the river opposite the ruins. B&B double 2000 TL.
  • 9 Dalyan Holiday Hotel, Kaunos Sk 10, +90 252 284 2549. Clean friendly simple hotel. B&B double 1200 TL.
  • Portakal Hotel, Maraş Cd 107 (next to ferry pier), +90 252 284 4413. Cozy place south end of village. B&B double 1500 TL.
  • Asur Otel, 116th Sk (south side of Portakal), +90 252 284 3232. Welcoming clean hotel south end of village. B&B double 2000 TL.
  • 10 Bahaus Resort, İztuzu Yolu 25, +90 252 284 5050. Tranquil spot 1 km south of town. B&B double 1500 TL.

Connect edit

Dalyan and its approach roads have 4G from all Turkish carriers. As of July 2023, 5G has not rolled out in Turkey.

Go next edit

  • Dalaman has a small resort strip but the town itself is uninteresting.
  • Göcek is a smaller resort east, a centre for yachting and boat trips.

Routes through Dalyan
MarmarisAkyaka  W   E  DalamanAntalya

This city travel guide to Dalyan is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.